Muinntir Dhuibhín

Ciarán Ó Duibhín

The Devines are solidly associated with the Donemanagh area of north Tyrone from at least the early 17th century. My own great-grandfather was James Devine from Ballinamallaght, Donemanagh.

The surname occurs in this area in two important Gaelic documents: Ceart Uí Néill, a list of the vassals of Ó Néill, probably 16th century, where it occurs in the context of the Cineál Maine, i.e. Cineál Moain; and Cinn-Lae Uí Mhealláin, a diary of the 1641 rising, which mentions them in connection with Strabane.

In the published editions of both documents, edited by Tadhg Ó Donnchadha (Torna), the name is spelled Ó Duibhín or Ó Duibhin. In Séamus Ó Ceallaigh's Gleanings from Ulster History (1994 edition, p. 123), the spelling Ó Doimhin is used with reference to the diary.  In Seanchas Ard Mhacha 2004, Ciarán Ó Doibhlin opts for the spelling Ó Duimhín.

The Ó Duibhíns were part of the Cineál Eoghain confederation, and within it were most often found in association with the McNamees and the O'Gormleys.  In the manuscript genealogies, the Ó Duibhíns are placed among the Cineál Binnigh (from Eochaidh Binneach, son of Eoghan) — see Gleanings from Ulster History, genealogical tables in the rear endpapers — but they are given little or no prominence before the 16th century.

The O'Gormleys belong to another branch of the Cineál Eoghain, known as the Cineál Moain (from Moan, son of Muireadhach †c489, son of Eoghan: see Gleanings from Ulster History, p. 7, and references to the Cineál Moain in that book's index; also Brian Deeny, ‘Ceneál Moain and the O'Gormleys in East Donegal and West Tyrone,’ Familia 6 (1990) 39–56).  Having been forced by the Cineál Chonaill across to the east side of the Foyle, a baronial map of Ulster from 1603 shows the Cineál Moain in the north-east of the barony of Strabane, approximately the parishes of Leckpatrick and Donagheady (Fair River Valley, p. 7), exactly where the Ó Duibhíns are found in numbers to the present day.

Surname authorities tell a different story about the name Devine, both regarding its Gaelic form and its original location.  O'Donovan's Annals of the Four Masters contain references to Ó Daimhín between 780 and 1447, the later ones being located in Fermanagh. The kingdom of Clogher — the name persists in the small town of Clogher on the Fermanagh–Tyrone border, and in the diocese of Clogher — was known as Clochar Uí Dhaimhín. These Ó Daimhíns would most likely have been part of the population group known as the Oirghialla, who were masters of south-central Ulster until they were displaced or conquered by the Cineál Eoghain, spreading from the west.  Against this background, MacLysaght — followed by most other experts — derives Devine from Ó Daimhín, and places them in the barony of Tirkennedy in Co Fermanagh, along with Mac Uinnseannáin. Paul Walsh, in Irish Chiefs and Leaders (p 13) writes:

'Tír Cheannoda was a territory on the opposite or eastern side of Fermanagh county. The name is preserved in the present barony-name Tirkennedy. In 1349 we find a chieftain of the district named O Daimhín, or O Devine, as the English form now is: "Donn O Daimhín, chief of Tír Ceannoda, died." (AU). Earlier, however, there is evidence of greater pretensions on the part of this family. Flaithbheartach O Daimhín was lord of Fermanagh in 1278. There are no traces of any descendant making claims to a similar dignity. The name passes out of prominence at 1427, when O Daimhín is for the last time mentioned as chief of Tír Cheannoda.'

However, Devine is not among the "principal Irish names" of Co Fermanagh in the Census of 1659, and of all the Ulster counties Fermanagh is the one with the fewest Devines in the Griffith valuation around 1860.

Distribution of householders of surname in Ulster, from Griffith valuation c 1860
  Devine Devin Divin Divine Diven  
Antrim 5 3 1 0 0 9
Armagh 8 2 0 0 0 10
Cavan 22 1 0 1 0 24
Derry 52 21 12 0 1 86
Donegal 11 5 3 0 0 19
Down 9 1 0 0 3 13
Fermanagh 4 1 0 0 0 5
Monaghan 11 3 0 0 0 14
Tyrone 91 48 23 1 0 163
  213 85 39 2 4 343

Both Irish forms, Ó Daimhín and Ó Duibhín, have been anglicised Devine, but do they refer to the same family?  It may be that the clan migrated en masse from Tirkennedy to the Tyrone–Derry borders at some time between 1450 and 1600, possibly under pressure from their fellow-members of the Oirghialla, the Maguires (Paul Walsh in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record of 1920 says that the first Mag Uidhir chief of Fermanagh was Donn, who died in 1302), and that it transferred its allegiance to its new neighbours of the Cineál Eoghain.  In that case, Ó Daimhín could be the etymologically-correct form, and Ó Duibhín a late phonetic spelling of it.

But I have seen no historical evidence of such an exodus, and I hesitate to identity the two groups. It seems equally plausible that the Ó Daimhíns died out, and that the Ó Duibhíns are unconnected with them and are natively of the Cineál Eoghain.  An odd coincidence connects the two areas: there is a Ballinamallard in Tirkennedy, and this is exactly the same name (Baile na Mallacht) as Ballinamallaght in north Tyrone already mentioned.

From the viewpoint of pronunciation, both Irish forms are stressed on the first syllable (Duibh-/Daimh-), unlike the current English form of the name, but we know that the pronunciation in English was earlier Divin, with stress on the first syllable (I have this pronunciation, not only from the Tyrone–Derry border region, but also from Tyrone townlands as distant as Glenmacoffer and Dunmoyle).  There would be a difference in sound between Irish Daimh-, which would have an a-sound, and on the other hand Duibh- or Doimh- or Duimh-, any of which would have an i-sound, or at least a more raised vowel sound whether front or back.  So the English pronunciation supports either Ó Duibhín or Ó Doimhín or Ó Duimhín but not Ó Daimhín as the Irish original.  But then Ó Duinnín's Me Guidhir Fhearmanach uses the form Ó Duibhín even for the Fermanagh tribe; while this does not support the distinctness of the two groups, it further underlines the unsuitability of the form Ó Daimhín.  Conversely, at the present day, you may hear the name mispronounced in Irish with an a-sound under the influence of the spelling Ó Daimhín, a result which is less Irish than the English!

There are Devines elsewhere in Ireland, too. MacLysaght mentions possible connections with the Davins of Co Tipperary. However Davin is not among the names mentioned in an article on folk memories of Ulster Gaelic settlers in Kilcommon and Rear Cross, Co Tipperary, during the first decade of the 17th century (Béaloideas 10 pp 300–1). There are also Devines thinly but widely spread over the Irish midlands, including Dublin, with some local concentration in east Galway. This could be explained by a scatterment of Tirkennedy Ó Daimhíns, in which not all went north to Donagheady.  DNA evidence may help to resolve the question.  It seems likely that the now universal fashion in English for placing the stress on the second syllable of the anglicised form "Devine" originated with the more southerly bearers of the name.

Historical References: both Ó Duibhín and Ó Daimhín are included in this list.

780: Dunchadh Ua Daimhine, tighearna Ua Maine [d'éag] (ACM an. 780)

1066: Dunchadh Ua Daimhene, comhorba of Doire [d'éag] (ACM an. 1066); 'perhaps not a surname' (CDD, p. 18)

1098: Rónán Ua Daimhin, comharba Feichin cétus, agus riaghlóir toghaidhe iaromh [d'éag] (ACM an. 1098)

1104: Maidhm ria nUltaibh for Dhál nAraidhe, i ttorcair Duibhceann Ua Daimhin i friothghuin (ACM an. 1104)

1212: Domhnall ó daimhín do mharbhadh la macaibh még lachlainn i ndorus regles a doire (ACM an. 1212)

1278: Flaithbheartach ua daimhin ticcearna fearmanach décc (ACM an. 1278)

1349: Donn hUa Daimín, taisech Tire Cennfota, mortuus est (AU an. 1349)

1420: Goffraigh hUa Daimhin d'heg 13 Kalendas Iulii agus a adhlacadh ag cuirr cle altora mainistreach Lesa-gabail (AU an. 1420)

1427: Brian ua daimhin taoiseach tire ceannfhoda décc (ACM an. 1427)

1444: Graine, ingen Domhnaill hUi Daimin, companach Maigister Deinis Mic Gilla-Coisgle, d'heg, idon, cananach coradh Clochair, 5 Kalendas Iulii (AU an. 1444)

1447: Domhnall ballach mac tomais mic Pilib meguidhir, do marbhadh la donn mac pilib mhéguidhir, le macaibh Airt mhéguidhir, le macaibh mec oirghiallaigh agus le macaibh ua ndaimhín, uair baoí an domhnall hísin i neasaonta re máguidhir agus re pilib tanaisi an tíre… (ACM an. 1447)

1469: 'Bernard O'Duibhyn petitioned the Pope, stating that he had made a simoniacal agreement (in effect, bribery) with William O'Hegehretyd by which the latter was to resign the vicarage [of Donagheady] in O'Duibhyn's favour on the payment of a certain amount of money.  The bishop of Derry would appear to have been unaware of these underhand financial dealings and duly appointed O'Duibhyn to Donagheady on the resignation of O'Hegehretyd.  However, the agreement between O'Hegehretyd and O'Duibhyn subsequently came to light and O'Duibhyn would appear to have been suspended for a time. However, he was forgiven soon afterwards and reinstated in the vicarage of Donagheady.' (PLD, 11–2; also DCP, p. 191; ref to Calendar of Papal Letters XII 76); Bernard O'Divin a pre-reformation cleric or erenagh in Donagheady parish (FRV, p 315, ref to DCP)

1469: 'John O'Dubyn provided to R[ectorship] Cluainplam [of Cloncha, Inishowen] vacant by deprivation, 6 Kal. July' (DCP, p. 151; ref. to Costello's De Annatis Hiberniae I 200).

1485: 'Ó Duibhin (Dobim), Seán (?) (Devine) provided [to Deanery of Derry] in 1485' (CDD, p. 25)

c1550?: 'Tighearnus Uí Néill ar Chinél Máin… oidhcheacht Uí Néill orra .i. oidhche ar Mhac Aodha, agus oidhche ar Ó gCeallaigh, agus oidhche ar Mhac Conallaigh, agus gan congnamh ag Ó nDuibhín nó ag Ó Fhlaithbheartaigh madh fada comhnuidhe Í Néill aca' (Ceart Uí Néill as Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, ed. Tadhg Ó Donnchadha (Torna), ed., Irish Manuscripts Commission, 41–47, 1931 @ p. 44)

1601: General Pardon to ... Manus O'Devine, Rowrie Balloe O'Devine, ... Arte Duffe O'Devine... Mar. 6th (State Papers, Pat. 6 James 1. CIV.-38)

1607: The incumbent of Donagheady was Terence O'Devenny (Montgomery's survey of the Derry diocese, 1607); referred to by Dooher, who says he was "more likely Devine" (FRV, p. 316); 'Donagheady Rector: and Vicar: Terentius O Dovin (Ó Duibhin/Devine)' (CDD, p. 29)

1610: Remittal of rent to 'Conconoght O'Devan, freedom for 50 cows for two years ended at Hallowtide 1610, for his maintenance in the college at Dublin, the better to encourage others to conform themselves in civility and religion, at £10 per annum' (CSP 1608–10, p. 540)

1610: Remittal of rent to 'Jenkin O'Devyn, for the like service [his faithful service at the rebellion of O'Dogherty], the like remittal [£10 per annum for two years ended at Hallowtide 1610]' (CSP 1608–10, p. 540)

1611: Jenkin O'Devin received plantation grant of 60 acres 'in the Precinct of Donganon' (CSP 1611–14, p. 207).

1611: 'Patrick groome O'Devin… was a remarkable character in the barony of Strabane in the early seventeenth century. He first appears as a member of a jury assembled at Strabane in November 1611, indicating that even at this stage he was a man of some standing in the area' (Roulston in THS, p. 277) ref to Moody and Simms, Bishopric of Derry, i, pp 79-81

1613: 'In 1613 [Patrick groome O'Devin] personally delivered £23 to his landlord in Scotland' (Roulston in THS, p. 277)

1613–14: 'In 1613 and 1614 [Patrick groome O'Devin] rented several townlands in the estate of Eden–Killeny from Sir Claud Hamilton of Shawfield, the modern extent of which would be more than 3,500 acres' (Roulston in THS, p. 277) ref PRONI T.544  For the Hamiltons, see William Roulston, ‘The evolution of the Abercorn estate in north west Ulster 1610–1703,’ Familia 15 (1999) 54—67.

1615: 'By 1615 [Patrick groome ODevin] was leasing the entire Eden–Killeny estate for £220' (Roulston in THS, p. 277)

1613–15: 'In the period 1613–15 a local man of substance, Brian Groome O'Duffeme (Devine), rented at least eight modern townlands east of Donemana… [he] acted as an agent for Sir Claud Hamilton in 1613… following Sir Claud's death in 1614, [he] collected the rents of the estate, which was then administered by Sir George Hamilton of the Largie and Dirrywoon [Baronscourt] estates' (Cox, in FRV, p. 62)

1617: 'A summonister's roll of 1617 records Patrick groome O'Devin and Morris oge McNeme living in the townland of Castlemellon' (PLD, p 41; Roulston in THS, p. 276; ref to PRONI T.808/15088)

1621: 'A Cormick O'Devin was living at Dullerton in 1621 and he would seem to have been an undertenant of the freeholder James Hamilton' (PLD, p 41; Roulston in THS, p. 276; ref to PRONI T.808/15088)

1628–9: 'Another probable undertenant of James Hamilton was Hugh O'Devin of Dullerton who was convicted of treason at the Tyrone assizes on 25 February 1628, although it is not known what this was for or whether the sentence was carried out' (PLD, p 41; Roulston in THS, p. 276; ref to PRONI T.808/15090)

1631: 'By 1631 [Patrick groome O'Devin] was a sub-tenant of Thomas Petticreive in Leat in the estate of Eden–Killeny' (Roulston in THS, p. 277; ref to Inquisitionum, Ultoniam Tyrone, (31) Carolus I)

1640?: 'Patrick groome O Devin, Irish papist, claimeth a mortgage of the above menconed fowre Ballibose of Faany, Ardkane, Letrim and Bonoyne, from Sr George Hamilton the younger Barronett Scottish Papist, whoe had a leace thereof from John [Bramhall] Bishop of Derry' (CS, p. 402). [These ballyboes form a quarter-circle round Donemana on the NNE, about 1m away.]

1642: '28 Jan. Dungannon Castle, Commission of Sir Phelim O'Neall to Hugh Murray O'Devin, Gent., to be captain of a company in the province of Ulster, and of so many more men as he can raise for upholding the King's prerogative and the liberties of his Majesty's Irish subjects, and for the upholding and maintenance of this his Highness' religion and the defence of the ancient holy Roman Catholic Religion. He shall receive a full captain's pay, nominate officers at his discretion, and will have command of the fort of Dunemanagh, late possessed by Sir William Hamilton, during Phelim O'Neale's pleasure.' (CSP 1633–1647, p. 356).

1642: 'In the third week of April, with 4,000 men and 6 troops of horse, [Phelim O'Neill] proceeded to Strabane and occupied it. He left a contingent, under Captain Murragh O'Divin(e), to hold the castle with Lady Strabane and her family under house arrest… O'Neill left some men with O'Devin(e) in the castle and then returned to Charlemont… three days later the Laggan force crossed from Lifford, attacking the Strabane castle. O'Neill's force within was "put to the sword", many making their escape by "their fleetness of foot". Murragh O'Divin(e) was captured and confined in the gaol at Derry.' (Cox, in FRV, p. 67; also Dillon in THS, p. 394, note 84, ref to Old Belfast p. 210, note 52)

1642: April. 'Tug a' Gen. a' bhantigherna leis da bhoile go hAchadh in dá Charad, agus d'fhág a bhárdaidhe san tSrath Bán, .i. Muintir Dhuibhin, agus Seaán Mac Con Midhe uastaibh; 's an tres lá dháibh tánaic Albonaigh Leithfir anall don tSrath Bán. Do theitheadur na bárduighe 's do marbhadh uile iad, acht ar imigh do thoradh a gcos díobh, 's do chuadur na hAlbonaigh san chúirt' Cinn Lae Ó Mealláin, ed. Tadhg Ó Donnchadha (Torna), Analecta Hibernica 3, pp. 1–61, 1931 @ p. 10

1650: '[Patrick groome O'Devin] was still alive in the 1650s when he was recorded as the claimant of a mortgage on the bishop's lands in the parish of Donaghedy. His final fate is not known' (Roulston in THS, p. 277; s.a. pp. 286–7) ref to CS, p. 402 = as given under 1640? above.

1652: Death in Genoa of Risteard Ó Duibhín, alias Father Michael a Sancta Maria, O.F.M. Born at Donagh Chidi in the diocese of Derry, in 1609, of Patrick O'Duvin and Lily Guinsenan (Registrum Almae Prov. Genuae, 1626–1657; Prov. Archives, Genoa) — compare the earlier association of Mag Uinnseanáin with Ó Duibhín in Fermanagh under year 1716 below. "Richard Davrinus" matriculated to University of Louvain on 17 Dec 1632 (matriculation registers of the University). In his studies at Louvain, obtained the honour of Primus — "Primi Universitatis (quem vocant) honorem assecutus est" (transcript of contemporary letter in Archives, St. Isidore's). While at Louvain, his Confessor and Spiritual Director was Father John Colgan of St. Anthony's, who knew the O'Duvin's intimately, and, as he tells us, was acquainted with Michael's parents even before their marriage (letter of Colgan, July 12, 1652, transcript in Archives, St. Isidore's). Received into Franciscan Order on 12 Jun 1634, and professed on 13 Jun the following year. Transferred to St. Isidore's, Rome in Apr 1636, where he taught philosophy after his ordination to the priesthood. Ordination: Michael a Sta Maria, T. and M. 16 May 1636; S. 17 May 1636 (Malines ordination register). Sent to Genoa in Jan 1645, where he taught theology for several years, before resigning his chair in order to devote himself exclusively to prayer and contemplation (Archives, St. Isidore's). Died in Genoa at the convent of the Visitatione (or the Convento della SS. Annunziata), on 6 Jun 1652, at the age of 37, and is buried in the crypt in a separate tomb over which is painted his portrait.  Moves for his canonization were made as late as 1753, without result.

• Harold tells, of life at St. Isidore's, that sometimes wine of special quality would be sent in by some benefactor to be placed before Wadding. But the latter would rarely or never partake of any such luxury.  He would distribute the gift to others; and those who, from a spirit of mortification, abstained from wine were his favourites on such occasions, when he would turn the virtue of abstinence into that of obedience. "This we frequently observed to happen in the case of Father Michael Duvin a S Maria, who afterwards was Professor of Sacred Theology at Genoa where he died in the odour of sanctity and with the fame of miracles" (Harold, 1. c. XCIII).

• From a letter to Fr. John Colgan from Fr. Bonaventure O'Connor (translated from Irish), dated Genoa 15 Jun 1652:  "Fr. Michael bound me during the days before he died to write to you as soon as God would call him out of this exile asking you to pray for him, and send notice of his death to the Province.  The good father died the 6th of this month.  His body was from midday on Thursday unburied until three on Sunday night and it was during that time continually performing miracles; there is no estimating the number of crippled and lame who got the use of their limbs at his tomb, many blind their sight, deaf their hearing, dumb their speech, lepers and those afflicted with every other sort of disease their health; it drove the demons out of numerous bodies; it is still continuing these things and we hope for still greater things.  I did not for a long time see so much honour as was paid to it nor such joy as possesses the gentry and the people of this place to get such a treasure..."

• Sources for Risteard Ó Duibhín [thanks to Donn Devine for these references]: Gregory Cleary, "Father Luke Wadding and St. Isidore's College, Rome", Rome, 1925, pp. 142–145; Brendan Jennings, "Irish students in the University of Louvain," in Sylvester O'Brien (editor), "Measgra i gcuimhne Mhichíl Uí Chléirigh", Dublin: Assisi Press, 1944, pp. 74–97; Brendan Jennings, "Irish names in the Malines ordination registers, 1602–1794", Irish Ecclesiastical Record LXXVI (1951) pp. 399–408; Brendan Jennings (editor), "Louvain Papers 1808–1827", Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1968, pp. 117–118, 431; Eric Mac Fhinn, "Gaedhealg i Leabhragán an Vatican", An Síoladóir II:1 (6/1921) 46–47; Brian Bonner, "Derry: An Outline History of the Diocese," 2nd Edition, Pallaskenry, 1995, pp. 184–185.

c1664: 'Petition to the King of Captain James Devin, showing that: Petitioner was granted by the King, soon after his arrival in England, the office of Seal Master of Leather in Ulster in consideration of his sufferings for and service done to the King as well at home as abroad. The warrant being lost, he has retarded his prosecution of the King's favour in the hope to find it. He prays that the King will issue a new warrant in order that he may receive the benefit of his former favour' (CSP volume including 1664, p. 508).

1665: Neil O'Devan in parish Cul Maine, barony Lurg, county Fermanagh (HMR, Co Fermanagh, 1665, p. 208; Clogher Record 2).

1666: Loughlan O'Devin, Lisnacrive, Fintanagh, barony Clogher (HMR, Co Tyrone, 1666, p. 382; Clogher Record 5) [Lisnacreeve is 2.5 km SE of Fintona, and about the same distance NE of Dundivin Glebe]

1666: Edmond O'Devin, Monigarr, parish Maghericross, barony Omagh (HMR, Co Tyrone, 1666, p. 384; Clogher Record 5) [? there are townlands Moneygar about 1.5 km east of Trillick, and Meenagar halfway between Trillick and Fintona].

1681: Fr James Devine [priest] of Donagheady (Dooher in FRV, p. 319). Also, James O'Devine is recorded as parish priest of Donagheady c1680 (Cox, in FRV, p. 62; cf CDD, p. 32; PLD, p. 138)

1683: Fr Terence Devin ordained by Bishop Geoghegan of Meath at Clonmacross, Co Meath, is in Aghaloo parish, and is still there in 1704, residing in Tulnavern. (Campbell in Dúiche Néill no. 13, p 53)

1704: Fr James O'Devin, born 1656, ordained 1 Jan 1679 at Ballyna, Co Kildare, PP Camus 1704; registered [by civil authorities] in 1704 as 'pretending to be Popish Priest in Parish of Cams, aged 48 and living at Bernagh [Bearney]' (CDD, pp. 130–1); see also Dooher in FRV, p. 320)

1716, but referring to C13?: 'Agus ghluaiseas féin [Giolla Íosa Mag Uidhir] agus a shluaghbhuidhean go tuaith Thíre Cheannada… mar a raibh Clann Mhe Guinnsionnáin an tan sin, agus gach fine eil dá raibh maille ris, mar do bhí O Duibhín, O Seaghdhannáin, agus Clann Mhic Anuisce agus iomadh d'fhinigheachaibh uile nach áirmhighthear sunna.' (Pádraig Ó Duinnín, eag., Me Guidhir Fhearmanach, 1917, p. 44); cf. an Duibh(e)ineach (id., pp. 48,52,54,119–121)

1729: Death of Manus Divin, Inishmagh, buried Aghaloo (Dúiche Néill no 13, p 56)

c1750: Fr Manasses Devine ordained priest, PP Culdaff (CDD, p. 53)

c1760: Fr Manus Divin ordained priest, CC Cumber, died 1799, buried Cumber (CDD, p. 57)

18??: "Divin's Land" in Carrick, Longfield parish, West Tyrone named from a family evicted from Baronscourt (P Harpur, Carrick in My Time p 34; ref there to Abercorn Letters).

1813–1884: Fr Neal Divin, born Leckpatrick, buried Claudy (CDD, p. 57)

1836–1886: Fr Michael Divin, born Donagheady, buried Carndonagh (CDD, p. 53)

c1850: James Devine of Loughash, the author of songs including 'Moorlough Mary,' 'Maid of Burndennet,' 'Farewell to Glenrannel,' (or 'Glenrannel's Plains'), 'Pride of Glenelly,' 'Claudy Town.' (Huntington, Sam Henry's Songs of the People, p. 250 and elsewhere)

1860–1892: Fr James Devine, born Eden, Banagher, parents both national schoolteachers, buried Tullamore, Co Offaly (CDD, p. 53)

1871–1947: Fr Joseph Devine, born Leckpatrick, buried Strabane (CDD, p. 53)

1873: William Devine became president of the Strabane conference of St Vincent de Paul in 1873. 'He was a grocer and spirit dealer, as well as a publican and emigration agent, in Markethouse Street.' (Harron in FRV, p. 184)

1876: George Divin, Back Street, Strabane was a boot- and shoe-maker, operated a boot and shoe shop, and was a last-maker. Miss Divin was a bonnet-maker in Strabane. (Derry Almanac, 1876, quoted by Harron in FRV, p. 192)

1876: "Owners of land of one acre and upwards" included: Henry Devine, Clogherney (105 acres); James Devine, Doorat (342 acres); John Devine, Doorat (42 acres); John (Hill) Devine, Doorat (251 acres); Patrick Devine, Doorat (38 acres); Bernard Devine (Shanral), Balix Lower (68 acres). See 'Where's That?', Irish Times 27/8/1991.

1883–1956: Fr Patrick Devine, born Donagheady, buried Dungiven (CDD, pp. 53–4)

1888–1959: Fr William Devine, born Castlederg, buried Clonmany (CDD, p. 54); in Strabane 1932 (FRV, pp. 360,398–9). Author of The Four Churches of Peking. See also Rev Desmond Mullan, ‘Fr Willie (Bill) Devine,’ Familia 3 (1987) 136–8. Also Ulster Herald 24/10/1959 5, died Dublin.

1899: John Devine, tea merchant, was a member of the Strabane town commissioners in the 1890s, and a member and chairman of the newly-established Strabane Urban Council in 1899 (Dooher in FRV, p. 239,240). He was again a councillor in 1923 (FRV, p. 247,248).

1901: Tomás Ó Conceanainn visited Glenelly, where the priest was Fr Devine, 'an ardent Gaelic Leaguer' (Pádraig Ó Baoighill in THS, p. 670)

1904–1974: Fr Thomas E Devine, born Leckpatrick, buried Leckpatrick (CDD, p. 54)

1932–: Fr Robert Devine, born Donagheady

1950: John Devine, 'a mechanic from Newtownstewart', was a founding member and keyboard player with the Mourne Dance Band, later renamed the Melody Aces (FRV, p. 379)

1972: Eleanor Devine, first principal of St Mary's Girls' Primary School, Melmount, Strabane (FRV, p. 363)

Placenames which may contain the Devine name:


Lisdivin Lower and Upper are townlands in Donaghedy parish, Cullion DED, Strabane RD (see 1971 Census of Northern Ireland, Topographical Index, p. 130); earlier the DED was Dunnalong. Lisdivin Lower lies on the right bank of the Burn Dennet, about 3 km from its confluence with the Foyle, and Lisdivin Upper adjoins it on the north.

Lisdevin/Lysdevin, a ballyboe in the parish of Donaghedy (CS, p. 397)

Listeevin, together with Eden Bally McShewoy and Tawnagh brien, makes up one balliboe in Strabane barony (manuscript Rawlinson A237: Analecta Hibernica 3, p. 157). Tamnabryan adjoins Lisdivin Upper on the north, and Eden similarly adjoins Tamnabryan.

Fee farm deed of 1 January 1615–6, between James Hamilton (earl of Abercorn) and Hugh Hamilton concerning the townland of Lisdivin (Roulston in THS, pp. 273–4,286) ref to PRONI D.623/B/13/2A

Stone house built at Lisdivin, Dunnalong, by Hugh Hamilton (died 1637) ?before 1615 (FRV, p. 61); his son Hugh had a 70-acre estate at Lisdivin in the 1654 Civil Survey (CS, p. 397; FRV, p. 61).

'In the Civil Survey 1652–4, the freehold of Lisdivin was in the possession of Hugh Hamilton, son of the original grantee of the same name' (Roulston in THS, p. 282); 'the freehold of Lisdivin encompassed the two modern townlands of Upper and Lower Lisdivin' (ibid.)

Coole Muntedevin

Coole Muntedevin contains four balliboes in Strabane barony (manuscript Rawlinson A237: Analecta Hibernica 3, p. 157)


Dundivin Glebe, a townland in parish Donacavey, barony Clogher, Aghafad DED, Omagh RD (see 1971 Census of Northern Ireland, Topographical Index, p. 93), about 4 km due south of Fintona; earlier the DED was Draughton.

Altadavin — more likely "Allt a' Deamhain"

B Ua Dálaigh, A visit to Altadavin, Co Tyrone, Irisleabhar Mhuighe Nuadhat (1915) 53–7. Altadavin Glen lies at one end of Gleann na Muice Duibhe, a few miles from Clogher village. It has Patrician associations.


The Devine surname DNA study.

This document is an account of the family by a Thomas Devine (1846–1929). Also found here.

Ciarán Ó Duibhín
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